Event Celebrates BioD’s $1 Million Gift to BME

Originally published by UF News; April 2, 2015

New endowed professorship and research collaboration will focus on regenerative medicine 

image 3The biotechnology company BioD has committed $1 million to the University of Florida J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering. The funding will be used to establish the Tim Brahm Endowed Term Professorship in Biomedical Engineering, and to bolster a collaborative research partnership between the university and the company. The professorship will be awarded to a faculty member who specializes in regenerative medicine, a revolutionary research area that involves engineering tissues and cells to establish and restore normal functioning. Regenerative medicine will be the central focus of this new research collaboration.

“Regenerative medicine is a key focus area for our department, and one that is tremendously important for advancing patient outcomes,” said Christine Schmidt, Ph.D., professor and chair of the biomedical engineering department. “We already collaborate with faculty across campus in our research efforts, but this new industry partnership will expedite our ability to create new products and technologies that will affect and save lives.”

BioD is a leading regenerative medicine company engaged in the development and commercialization of novel biologic products derived from placental tissues. The endowed professorship is named in honor of BioD’s founder, chairman of the board, and chief development officer, Tim Brahm, who has over 21 years of experience working in tissue banking.

“UF’s state-of-the-art BME facilities, which are run and staffed by some of the top minds in human tissue engineering, have created a perfect storm to help BioD accomplish its goals in regenerative medicine,” said Brahm. “I've had the great professional reward of working with Christine Schmidt and one of her lead scientists Peter McFetridge. Their department’s combined tissue engineering experience will help BioD to elevate its offerings.”

image 1The faculty resources, used in conjunction with the Institute for Cell Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (ICERM), will ensure that biomedical engineering researchers at UF have the cutting-edge instruments and technologies they need to facilitate significant advancement in biomaterials innovation.

“BioD is committed to advancing the frontiers of regenerative medicine, just as much as we are,” said Cammy Abernathy, dean of UF College of Engineering. “This partnership will help speed up our translational research, closing the gap from bench to bedside by stimulating our own campus-wide interdisciplinary collaborations with a proven vision for bringing solutions to a global market.

image 2A reception celebrating the gift and research collaboration took place on Thursday, April 9, in the Biomedical Sciences Building atrium. The department was delighted to hear talks from senior leadership at BioD including Jerry Chang, VP of Business Development, Tim Brahm, Founder & Chairman, and Russ Olsen, President and CEO.

Read more about the BioD gift on the front page of the Independent Florida Alligator!

Thank you again to everyone at BioD for this amazing gift!